Paint Your Evatek - Handpan Case Art

Evatek Art by Pam Gogh Marinelli
In a recent post titled, ‘Ornately Decorated Handpan’, we made note of the fact that in recent years, many Handpan makers have been gradually edging towards making instruments that are (arguably) as attractive to the eye, as they are to the ear. Something that feels to be a natural progression, and was a path that even PANArt themselves trod through each subsequent generation of Hang. With later generations coming with such refinements as being brushed in brass. And having more decoratively-styled central notes (dings) - than earlier generation.

And this trend towards the more aesthetically pleasing, has not been limited to the instruments themselves, but has also been applied to Handpan accessories.  As can be seen in the growing number of examples of Evatek Handpan cases (as made by Hardcase Technologies) being transformed from the purely functional, into works of art in-and-of themselves.  

Paint Your Evatek - with Pam Gogh Marinelli

Probably the biggest name at time of posting in Evatek artwork is Pam Gogh Marinelli, some of whose work you can see in the picture above-right. Pam appears to work hand-in-hand with the manufacturers of the Evatek cases, Hardcase Technologies, under the title of "Evatek Design". With each piece of Evatek art being hand painted with Acrylic non-toxic colors. 100% Waterproof and scratch resistant. With customised artwork using your own ideas and images also being an option.

For more information on Pam Gogh Marinelli, and examples of her work, you can find her over at Facebook: HERE. Or via her website: HERE.

Other Evatek Artists:

While the Evatek art-movement may be fairly new, already, Pam Gogh Marinelli, finds herself in talented company. With the likes of Swiss artist Ana Paz, and Israel’s Doron Asayga Eilat also offering up some beautifully painted Evatek cases. Among others. Who can be found and explored via the map of official Evatek painters below...

Or of course, should you be of an artistic temperament yourself (or just fancy giving it a go), you could always try your hand at painting your own...

For more information on Evatek Design you can visit the HCT website: HERE

PANArt Hang Prices at eBay - Thus Far in 2017

Click to enlarge.
Responses to a recent post over in the Handpan Instruments Facebook group appeared to suggest that there is currently some confusion regarding the prices that PANArt Hang are selling for via the eBay auction platform, as we find ourselves mid-2017.  While often-cited un-witnessed deals between friends see Hang supposedly traded for little more than hugs and rainbow-dust in rare cases, in terms of gauging current prices for genuine PANArt-made instruments sold on the open-market, love it or hate it, eBay remains the only real (and transparent) window into how the land lies on that front.

Meaning that while whenever a Hang finds it way onto Facebook for sale, everybody and their mother will have an opinion about it - particularly regarding the price.  The information you’ll find there is generally confusing (or confused) at best - and intentionally misleading for a variety of motives, at worst.  

The good news however, for those who are looking to find out what PANArt Hang are actually selling for at open auction via eBay these days, is that there really is no need for wild speculation.  The information is all right there for you - with recent sales prices being readily available at the click of a button…

PANArt Hang Prices at eBay - Thus Far in 2017

As we can see from the image above-right, with the exception of one particularly poor offering of a Hang in (seemingly) pretty bad shape, and with little in the way of information/audio/video to support the sale, which sold for just short of $3400, Hang prices remain steady, if not having increased. Three first generation Hang have sold for prices between $8395 up to $10660. While a second generation was sold for $9500. And a free integral was sold for (presumably - best offer was accepted) somewhere around the 12000 Euro mark ($13500).

With the influx of newer Handpan makers in recent years, it is clearly observable that Hang sold at these prices are no longer flying off the shelves like hot-cakes, as they did back in the day. With those simply seeking a playable instrument now having far more affordable options to choose from. But it is also clear from the sales data above, that there still remains a market for PANArt originals, and musicians (and/or investors) who are willing to pay a premium, for these soon to be relics of Handpan history.

Opsilon Handpan - Built in Germany by Rafael Sotomayor

In our recent post on the Handpans of Arcana Musical Instruments, we wrote that in our opinion, often times Handpan-players seem to go on to make the best Handpan,.later down the tracks. From Aciel’s Michael Colley to Æther’s Colin Foulke, and a host of others, seasoned players who have gone on to take up the hammer, are producing some of the best sounding instruments out there.

And anybody who has had a good nose around the Handpans Magazine website, probably knows that accomplished Handpan musician, Rafael Sotomayor, is not just among our favourite performers - but was also the man responsible for making us fall in love with these instruments ourselves, many years ago now, when we first stumbled across the video for his track, Inner Voice. Which makes this post a particular pleasure to share, now that he himself has taken up the hammer, to produce his own range of Handpan, going by the name of “Opsilon”.

Opsilon Handpan

Based in Berlin, Germany, Opsilon Handpan are handmade by Rafael Sotomayor himself.  And Rafael describes his goal with the project as being:

"My dream is to make an instrument that touch the soul of the people".

One of our favourite things about the Opsilon Handpan, other than their singing-voice, because we think these are sounding great - is the reason behind their name.  Because while often the names of different makes of Handpan appear to be battling it out in a contest to offer up titles and epithets each more "spiritual" sounding than the last - the name for Rafael's Opsilon Handpan, was taken from an imaginary fantasy-planet that Rafael created for himself as a child, "Planet Opsilon".  A part of his childhood imagination that now any who play one of his creations, can visit and share in...

To find more information on the Opsilon Handpan you can visit the official website: HERE, or find them over at Facebook: HERE.

PANArt Vs EchoSoundSculpture (The Legal Battles Continue)

Despite in the early days of the PANArt Hang, the Hang-makers at PANArt seemingly welcoming new makers to “take up the hammer”, and follow in their footsteps.  Even going so far as to release much of the technical information regarding the Hang-building processes into the public domain. In recent years, PANArt’s open, and welcoming attitude, has now, like the original Hang itself (which was retired in 2013), become a relic of the past.  So that while PANArt themselves have become increasingly irrelevant to the Handpan-scene, that they themselves spawned.  Evidence suggests, that while they may have lost interest in producing Handpan-style Hang themselves (with their newer non-Handpan instruments still partially retaining the Hang name), their more-recently acquired enthusiasm for dragging newer Handpan-makers through the courts, seemingly in a desperate bid to reclaim what they gave up by failing to patent their new creation back when that was still an option, continues with gusto.

Back in 2012, PANArt, took one of their first competitors, Spanish Handpan-maker, and the man behind “BEllArt”, Luis Eguiguren to court.  Though (to our understanding) with the exception of the imposing of a few minor stipulations, PANArt lost their legal battle.  

But despite that loss, and they themselves stating in their 2013 published book, Hang: Sound Sculpture, that:

‘When the first copies of the Hang appeared in 2009, we turned to patent and market attorneys at Bovard AG.  We learned that we were already quite late.  However, an attempt was made to protect the Hang’s design.  Unsuccessfully.  There was nothing to be done against the copies by BEllArt (Spain), nor those by Pantheon Steel (U.S.A)...'

It has recently come to light that PANArt continue to try, regardless.  With an announcement made by their fellow Swiss makers, Echosoundsculpture, that:  

Meaning that despite having yet to really find any success in shutting down the "competition" through legal processes - newer makers might yet still expect to find a letter through the door, from PANArt’s lawyers. Possibly in attempt to "encourage" makers to sign up to their "Partners of PANArt" licensing deal...

The Two Million Dollar Bitcoin Handpan?

Here at HPM we’ve taken a bit of a pause in recent weeks, as our fascination has been temporarily diverted by the all-singing and all-dancing circus that has been the world of cryptocurrency over that same time period.  For those who don’t know what cryptocurrency is, and “Bitcoin” in particular, we’re not going to go into the mechanics of it here in great detail, as there is a world of information to be found on the topic elsewhere.  But for those who have never heard of it, essentially, it’s a digital, decentralised, monetary system, that has been gaining a huge amount of exposure in recent times, and with it, huge growth.  With the value of the leading cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, having risen by insane amounts over the last few years, and particularly so, over the past few weeks.

And so with that in mind, we decided to revisit a post we published back in 2014 - when U.S. based Handpan producers, Tzevaot, announced that they would be accepting Bitcoin, as a means of payment for one of their instruments.  Before announcing again shortly afterwards in January, 2014, that they had completed their first ever cryptocurrency sale:

'We have successfully completed our first Bitcoin/Litecoin sale! No paypal fees, no wire-transfer fees and from anywhere in the world at that. The future is amazing, and the future is now.'

At the time of that posting, the advertised price of a Tzevaot Handpan was around $1800.  With the average value of a Bitcoin at the time being around $860.  Meaning that the Handpan purchased from Tzevaot in cryptocurrency (presumably) cost somewhere around two Bitcoin.

Meaning that at it’s highest point so far (before a brief pullback), when the value of those Bitcoin had risen to around $2,700 each, just last week.  The value of those two Bitcoin that were paid to Tzevaot, held a value of around $5400.  Which obviously represents (in purely financial terms) a very smart move on the side of Tzevaot to be the first Handpan maker to publicly accept Bitcoin as a payment method.

However, while those figures represent some really nice growth, and profits, some of the predictions floating around out there for the potential increases in the value of Bitcoin in future days, place those figures firmly in the shade.  

Back in 2014 (around the same time) a Halo, made by Pantheon Steel sold for $15,000.00 at eBay. Making it the most expensive Handpan ever sold (to our knowledge).  But if folks like, PayPal director, Wences Casares, are correct in their predictions that in just five to ten years, the monetary value of a single Bitcoin could rise to the heady heights of one million dollars a piece - retrospectively speaking, January, 2014, may have seen the sale of the first (and possibly only ever) MILLION DOLLAR Handpan...  

Of course, this is all speculative, and only time will tell on that front.  But as a crossover between two of our fascinations here at HPM, you can be sure that it will be a story that we’ll revisit again, should that ever come to pass...

>> Want to get into Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies but don't know where to begin, follow this link to give Coinbase, the leading online Bitcoin wallet a try.

Arcana Musical Instruments - Handpan Made in Colorado

We stumbled across the work of Arcana Musical Instruments for sale a little whiles back now over at ETSY, and were instantly impressed.  Built by Josh Keegan, and Jerred Houseman, in Colorado, U.S., Arcana Musical Instruments got the big thumbs up from Handpan musician, Brandon Dautrich, who when giving them a shout-out over at Facebook expressed that:

And in many ways, our reasons for publishing this post, other than in celebration of the awesome work thus far of the Arcana Musical Instruments crew in general, stems from the fact that at time of posting, there are six of these Handpan, all sounding sweet (to our ears), and relatively speaking all reasonably priced, sat unclaimed over in their store. Which kind of feels a little bit like a crime...

“Amazing artists dedicated to creating unsurpassed quality instruments with beautiful sound. These instruments are awesome…”  Reads one review from over at their Facebook page.  While another states, “They make a great pan at a great price and stand behind their work - I highly recommend these guys !!!!”. And while we always encourage our readers to make up their own minds as to what they find pleasing, and/or don't, in a Handpan. For us here at HPM, those reviews are mere garnish. Our ears tell us everything we need to know...

Often times we’ve seen over the years that Handpan-players go on to become the best makers later down the track - and at least one of the two guys at Arcana has been playing for years.  Add to that the fact that these guys are hanging out with the likes of established Handpan builder, Dave Beery, of Dave’s Island Instruments, and are buddied up sharing tools and ideas with a number of other makers - should you require anything more than your own ears to go by - within that you should find at least some measure of reassurance...

To make a purchase you can visit the Arcana Musical Instruments ETSY store: HERE.  Or for more information and to keep up-to-date, you can find them over at Facebook: HERE

Video of PANArt's Felix Rohner Building a "Handpan"

We should be clear from the start, that for the purposes of this post at least, the following video is not of Felix Rohner building a “PANArt Hang” (one of PANArt’s own creations), but is instead a video of PANArt's Felix Rohner building a “Handpan”.  Or at least, what in his view, constitutes a Handpan - an “imitation” of PANArt’s own Hang instruments, that PANArt themselves have been generally critical of across the board.  

In their book, “Hang: Sound Sculpture”, PANArt state of these imitators that “they often copy the Hang’s external details, but do not play close attention to the sound-quality.”  In a blog post over at their official website PANArt describe others as sounding “dead, and lifeless”.  Felix is also vocally critical of the Hang-inspired scene, and instruments, in his song, Ellie’s Response.  And in further attempt to illustrate the differences between Hang and Handpan, during YouTube user, Gubalspieler’s recent visit to meet with Felix, the following video was recorded…

“Not long ago I visited the PANArt team in its workshop. There I found a handpan lying on the floor. I tried it out. At the first moment it sounded nice. But after a short time playing became boring… - I talked with PANArt Tuner Felix Rohner about my feelings. He told me that this instrument was made with a relative simple tuning technique using plates with string like modes as tone fields… - You can build your own. It needs only a short time to make such an instrument. I can show you how… - It is very different from the usual PANArt tuning method…”

Here at HPM we find that this view is likely too overly-simplistic to be all-encompassing of the work of the now hundreds of Handpan makers around the world building their own Hang-inspired instruments. But it makes for an interesting and insightful video none-the-less.  And with our page on Handpan-making always being popular, even if intended as a “how not to do it” type video - it could still prove of interest to those looking to build themselves a simple D.I.Y Handpan.  

To read the videos full (and considerably more lengthy) description, click HERE to visit YouTube.  Alternatively, you can catch the latest from PANArt over at Facebook: HERE. or via their website: HERE.

The Hangwallah - Handpan Music by Lukas Zeller

With the sun out.  And a glass of red wine in hand.  Here at HPM we needed Handpan music.  And while when we usually head over to YouTube it’s to catch the day’s latest videos, today; we needed something more solid.  An album.  And on typing “Full Handpan Album” into YouTube, there in first result was, Lukas Zeller’s, "The Hangwallah".  A full album recorded using Hang, Halo, and SteelHarp.  And wow, what a nice piece of music.  Perfect for such a day.

With Lukas’s bio over at Facebook being in German, and us not speaking the language, there is not much that we can tell you about the man behind The Hangwallah.  Other than if Translate was effective, him being 35 years old, and this little snippet of text:

“...on many places and streets of this world, I was able to find out what a deep connectedness this sounded At the listeners. As something very deep in us would swing to swing.” - Lukas Zeller

And over at The Hangwallah Bandcamp page, fan of the album, Nick Schelvis, had the following to say:

“Not particularly a favourite track. I like them all very much! I enjoy most handpan music but this album truly takes me on a journey in the story the artist is trying to tell, which keeps having my interest and why i enjoy to keep listening to this album over and over again!”

And we agree, there’s a beauty to it.  And a purity.

So, if like us, you find yourself in sunny days.  With a glass of wine, or lemonade.  And an hour or so to kick-back and think of nothing.  To be carried away.

Hit play below...

For more you can find Lukas over at Facebook: HERE.  Or over at Bandcamp: HERE.

Mix the City - Creating Handpan Mix Music in Tel Aviv, Israel

Following up on our recent post on, Gioli - the electronic music mixing Handpan-playing DJ, we’re now going to introduce you (assuming that you’re not already familiar with it) to, “Mix the City”.  A website that allows you to create your own audio/visual music mixes, featuring musicians, and instruments from around the world (including the Hang/Handpan).  And this thing is tons of fun.

A British Council funded project that lets visitors not only tour and explore the musical identities of different cities via its motley crew of street performers.  Mix the City also allows users to become part of the experience - by providing functionality that goes beyond simply listening - granting users the ability to create their own mixes.  Combining drums, zithers, guitars, sitars, synths, singers, and more, from seven (and growing) inner-city soundscapes featuring local musicians.  And you can get some idea of what you can do with Mix the City in one of the many YouTube uploaded examples below...

Wanna play?  Here we'll link you through to Tel Aviv, in Israel.  Where you'll find a few snippets of Hang to play around with, along with a whole bunch of other musicians. And as stated above, there are also a growing number of other cities to sonically-explore.

Meet the Musicians

Each city section of the website features an area that introduces us to all of the featured musicians.  And from here we can learn that Mix the City's Hang-playing Tel Aviv local, is Liron Meyuhas.  Hang-musician, and vocalist.  Who you can hear performing as part of La Gitana Project, below...

Gioli - The DJ Versus the Handpan Instrument

We’ve used the “Versus” term somewhat inappropriately in post titles before, as we have again here (mainly because we like the sound of it).  But in reality, there is no conflict here.  But instead, the pleasant marriage of different musical ideas, and styles.  

When Gioli burst onto the Handpan scene, racking up over sixteen million views with her “first touch” Handpan video shared over at Facebook (with her Tzevaot brand of Handpan), it was clear that this was somebody who was going to be bringing something new. A DJ and composer with a strong background in electronic dance music, that runs evident throughout her Handpan compositions - with her over 600,000+ Facebook fans (at time of posting), Gioli wasn’t just introducing us long-time Handpan-fanatics to something a little bit fresh, but was also introducing a whole new genre of music fans to UFO-shaped singing steel. And you can take a listen to Gioli’s first full Handpan composition below, Echo of the Woods...

While Italy-born Gioli might specialise in Techno / Deep House dance music, in addition to having now added the Handpan to her repertoire, Gioli, also plays guitar, drums, and cello, and has been playing the piano since she was just eight years old.   She co-founded her own record label, #Diesis Records, that seeks to merge classical sounds, with house music vibes.  And in terms of deserving mad-props, as somebody involved heavily in the electronic music scene, Gioli, could have easily just acquired herself some Handpan samples to mix into her music, and be done with it. But she didn't. She goes hand-on-steel...

Find more from Gioli over at Facebook HERE.  Or find her at YouTube: HERE.

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